In dire need of translators for Korean, Chinese and Japanese
Let’s be an Adventurer! ~Defeating Dungeons with a Skill Board~ 161
Let’s Crush That Talking Fish!
The thing that appeared before them was a huge rock that stood on two feet– a golem.
It was about 3 meters tall and roughly shaped like an overly bulky human being.
Golems also were known to appear in Chikaho, however those ones weren’t as big as this one, and didn’t have crystals all over their bodies.
It was the first time Van had seen something like this.
Someone as experienced as Van, who had thoroughly explored dungeons such as Chikaho, Kamuikotan, Mt. Hakodate, Nakasatsunai, and many others, had no idea that such a monster could exist.
That fact alone caused Van to be more alert than ever.
“Is it a rare species?”
“…It might be a unique species.”
At any rate, it wasn’t the kind of enemy they could be careless with.
Van took up the battleax and brought it down with all his strength.
However, rather than fighting, Van should have tried to escape before anything else.
The next moment, there was a huge fist right in front of Van.
The golem, who had moved much quicker than its huge bulk should have allowed it to, threw a punch at Van.
Almost reflexively, Van held the battleax up in front of him.
The golem’s fist came into contact with the battleax.
A violent shock ran through the entirety of Van’s body.
Unable to withstand the impact, Van was blown backwards.
He immediately pushed the soles of his feet into the ground.
He tried to shave off the blow’s momentum as his own feet shaved the ground.
Van hadn’t meant to be careless, but he had never thought that the monsters in the 19th floor could be this strong.
The situation he was in right now had been a direct result of his own unpreparedness.
That was a mortifying fact for Van.
Either way, Van thought that he wouldn’t have been able to do much better than that even if he had been fully prepared for the attack from the beginning.
The golem had an extraordinarily massive bulk.
Like a fawn being hit by a speeding truck, there wouldn’t be much to be done no matter how ready he could have been.
Having endured the shock, Van quickly moved his left leg in order to get right in front of the golem.
He hadn’t been damaged, but the numbness caused by the golem’s attack caused a slight spasm in his muscles.
(Come on, move!)
Even though he had staggered, Van put all of his efforts in moving his leg.
If he, who was standing at the front lines, were to be blown away, the golem’s next target would be the one at the rear– that is, Karen.
Van’s job was to protect those at the rear.
He was never to fall back.
However, during the battle with the Lizardman, Van had been forced to fall back to the rear after having received too much damage.
And now, he had been brought down by the golem’s attack.
(Just what on earth have I learned so far!?)
A burning feeling ran rampant inside his body.
Then, after having dealt with Van, the golem turned towards Karen.
At that moment…
Van got goosebumps all over.
Although he had staggered, he put all of his efforts on moving his legs.
Screaming ferociously, Van was set on getting himself between Karen and the golem.
But before he could manage to do that…
An attack from the golem that seemed as if it had let out a shriek.
At that moment…
Karen didn’t try to escape.
She didn’t try to defend, either.
Instead, she took up her staff.
It sounded as if someone had cracked open an egg somewhere.
The next moment, Karen’s body had been blown away like autumn leaves against the wind.
After being blown several meters away at a terrifying speed, Karen’s trajectory was suddenly interrupted by the trunk of a large tree.
She slowly slid down along the tree’s trunk while bleeding from her head.
The golem then began to move towards Karen for a follow-up attack.
Van’s body was moving reflexively.
He took up the battleax and hit the golem with all his might.
The attack didn’t go through.
The battleax’s blade just slid against the golem’s defending arm.
(This is ridiculous…)
Van, who had been sure his attack would work, stood there as if petrified precisely because his attack hadn’t worked.
The golem wasn’t going to let that opportunity pass.
The golem attacked Van with a punch.
The punch hit Van’s left shoulder, blowing him backwards for several meters.
He had been unable to endure its terrifying strength.
After being sent flying for about 5 meters, Van quickly got back up.
He had to be ready for the golem’s follow-up attack.
However, the golem didn’t go after him.
After sending Van flying, the golem once again turned towards Karen.
Just before she was blown away, Karen had shaken her staff at the golem.
The staff had hit the golem directly in the arm.
However, it didn’t seem to Van that the staff would be something that could deal any damage to the golem.
And Van had attacked the golem’s arm as well, even though it hadn’t dealt any particular damage.
Since neither of those attacks had dealt any damage, Van’s battleax should have drawn more aggro from the golem, as it was heavier.
And yet, the golem was ignoring Van, and was targeting Karen instead.
(I have to help her… But…)
Van gritted his teeth once again.
He couldn’t think of a way to defeat that golem.
It was overwhelmingly superior to them in terms of attack power.
It was able to trample over their defense as well.
On the other hand, Van had nothing that could deal damage to the golem.
To make things worse, he was unable to move his left hand after taking that last attack.
It was the worst possible situation for him.
From an adventurer’s perspective, this wasn’t a battle for them to fight.
Fighting here would be the same as throwing their lives away in vain.
However, he couldn’t abandon the Air Team’s member Karen to her fate.
Van was sure that he would be able to survive if he were to leave Karen behind.
But he would be doomed to live in shame for the rest of his life.
The reason Van had come all the way here was to get stronger.
All so that he could rebuild himself from the disgrace he had started to fall into after the fight against that Lizardman.
(Am I going to have to endure the pain of not having been able to help Kagemitsu when he needed me the most once again!?)
If he were to go down here, it would be the same as that time.
And if he were to escape, he would never be able to look at himself in the mirror ever again.
There was no chance to win.
His life was already forfeit.
However, Van got back up on his feet.
This fight, this moment, this very situation.
The moment of having to protect someone was his turning point as an adventurer.
If he were to look away from it, he would lose something very important to him.
Of course, this could be nothing but just a belief for Van.
But Van believed this was fate.
This was a fateful moment.
With a ferocious scream, Van put himself between Karen and the golem.
The golem threw a punch precisely at that point, as if it had known all along that Van would break in.
Van planted himself to take the attack.
However, he couldn’t endure it, and ended up being blown away.
His abdomen hurt as if it had been turned inside out.
His brain was being constantly jolted by the waves of pain.
Still, Van got himself back on the move immediately.
He had to make sure it couldn’t lay another finger on Karen.
He was once again sent flying, only to put himself between Karen and the golem again.
He was brushed off by the golem ten times, then twenty times.
And every time, Van would go back and stand in front of the golem.
Every joint in his body creaked.
Some of his bones had already broken.
Blood dripped from the place where his skin had been torn after being attacked.
It was an amount of damage enough to make him scream in pain even after simply standing up.
However, Van continued to grit his teeth, enduring everything.
He was even smiling at times, even though he was suffering from severe pain.
Thinking of it as the same pain that Kagemitsu had felt back then, Van felt the joy of being in Kagemitsu’s shoes, not concerned about that feeling being out of place in the slightest.
Van stood desperately in front of the golem.
However, every time Van was brushed aside, the golem would get one step closer to Karen.
Eventually, the distance between Karen and the golem was almost zero.
Soon enough, it would be able to attack her directly.
Van turned his back on the golem as if to shield Karen with his own body.
He couldn’t allow himself to be sent flying again, or the golem would surely get to Karen.
He had to stand his ground no matter what.
Even if it were to cost him his life…
Van desperately poured all of his strength into his limbs.
The golem started to attack him.
One, two, three punches…
Punch after punch, the golem kept attacking Van.
The golem’s attacks were terribly heavy.
Van’s very soul was being quickly gnawed at by an amount of damage that could crush not only his body, but also his determination.
He was getting hit by an onslaught of attacks, but Van still desperately continued to endure them.
(I have to protect her…)
(This time, I have to protect her!!)
Red droplets begin to fall on Karen, who was already unconscious.
Van’s blood, which had started to flow from his head, mixed with his sweat and started to drip down after reaching the end of his face.
Over and over and over again…
The damp sound of flesh being hammered echoed throughout the forest.
Van felt a mysterious sensation as he glanced at his own blood droplets as they fell.
It feels as if an intense power is gushing forth from the depths of my body.
Maybe it can withstand the Golem’s attack if I keep this up.
And if I turn around and hit the golem, I might even be able to tear off one of its arms.
As if caught under a spell, a torrent of power fueled Van’s spirit.
(So this is like the surge of power you get when having to rescue someone from a burning house…?)
However, it was already too late for that power to emerge.
Had it happened a little earlier, Van might have been able to retaliate.
But Van had already sustained an incredible amount of damage, and even supporting his own body was taking him everything he had.
A punch from the golem hit his side directly.
He could hear several bones breaking all over his body.
(Were those the last of my ribs…?)
Frowning, but still enduring… Van had already gone beyond his limit.
After that, his eyes turned backwards, and finally collapsed on the ground.
(I have to protect her…)
(This time, I… have to protect her…)
But even then, Van hadn’t lost any of his fighting spirit.
All he had lost was his consciousness.
The man had fallen after being attacked by the golem.
With that, the interloper had been dealt with.
The golem was relieved that he could now finally deal with the woman.
Even though that woman hadn’t moved at all after taking a single punch, the golem had felt a strong sense of danger coming from her.
It was all due to the strong surge of energy coming from her… Magic.
Physical attacks wouldn’t work against the golem.
However, the compressed energy that can be manipulated through the use of magic would be capable of breaking through its defenses.
The golem couldn’t allow itself to ignore anyone who would signify a threat to its existence.
It had to protect itself…
That emotion was, however, something unbecoming of a golem such as itself, which had been created for the sole purpose of serving as a trial.
Trials were built so that they could be overcome.
The golem could die and still fulfill its purpose.
But the golem now knew the fear of death.
That mask and its terrifying air had instilled the fear of death on the golem.
The golem could now only regain its peace of mind by getting rid of any existence that threatened to destroy it.
(QUICK. I HAVE TO KILL HER.)
The golem raised its fist.
And the moment it set its sights on the woman…
A small fish popped out of the woman’s pocket.
“P-Please stop! I’m not even tasty to begin with–”
The fish escaped into the forest, miraculously avoiding the golem’s attacks.
The golem single-mindedly chased after the fish.
It couldn’t understand why, but the golem couldn’t leave the fish as is.
Just looking at it was enough to rub the golem the wrong way.
(I HAVE TO ERASE IT FROM THIS WORLD AT ONCE!!)
The golem’s fists repeatedly hit the ground.
A vibration, a shock.
The golem was gradually catching up with the fish.
The fish kept flailing its fins about and bawling its eyes out as it ran away.
Then, the golem finally managed to hammer the fish down onto the ground with its fist…
Or so it had thought.
At the moment of contact, the golem couldn’t feel the touch of a fish at the end of its fist.
The golem slowly lifted its fist from the ground.
There was no carcass of a fish there. Only mashed grass.
The fish was right there, standing next to the golem.
Astonished, the golem once again raised its fist in an attempt to make mincemeat out of it.
There was no need for the golem to rush after a fish that wasn’t trying to attack it.
But the golem had succumbed to the urge to crush that fish, no matter what.
The golem attacked the fish over and over again.
But the fish managed to dodge every single one of them.
More than dodging, it was as if the fish wasn’t even there to begin with…
At any rate, the golem’s punches, which would always work against humans without fail, had no effect on that fish.
The talking fish was surprised that the golem could speak.
Now 10 percent doubtful and 90 percent irritated, the golem once again threw a punch at the fish.
His fist fell like a hammer from above and crashed against the ground.
It had been so powerful that it shook the earth beneath, and caused the surrounding trees to sway left and right.
It had been a punch delivered with all of its might.
“…Phew, I managed to dodge that by the skin of my teeth!”
Not even that had been enough to catch that impudent fish.
The sound of something cracking echoed within the golem.
The source of the cracking noise wasn’t the golem’s hard body, much less its core.
It was its reason.
The golem’s reason was being smashed to smithereens by a mere fish, who was only trying to escape from it.
While its head boiled, the golem looked around itself.
Its tail, its dorsal fin, its tiny legs, its scales.
It looked around for signs of any of those so that it wouldn’t miss a single thing about the fish.
However, the fish was nowhere to be seen.
But it could clearly hear its voice.
“The rest is up to you, my p-r-i-n-c-e!”
Right after that, the rage that had boiled up inside the golem suddenly vanished.
At the same time, not even the slightest hint of the fish’s presence remained.
(…WHAT WAS THAT?)
Had it been some kind of illusion?
That fish had truly been a mysterious creature.
Setting that aside, the golem had no time to be chasing walking fish into the forest.
The golem finally returned to its senses.
Turning around, the golem started to head back towards the tree where that woman still lay unconscious.
(THIS TIME I WILL DEFINITELY…)
The golem once again raised its fist against the woman.
At that time…
The golem heard a voice it wished it had never heard again.